This text is part of Parks’ Historical Signs Project and can be found posted within the park.

There are four differing stories as to how Featherbed Lane, which runs adjacent to, and is the namesake of this triangle, came to obtain its peculiar appellation. One says that during the Revolutionary War, locals covered the street with feather beds so soldiers fighting the British could move quietly through the area. Another declares the road to have been so rough that those who traveled on it padded their carriage seats with featherbeds to keep it from being too uncomfortable. A third story, partly contradicting the first two, suggests that the road’s muddy composition provided a similar effect to that of a featherbed and thus made for a very smooth ride. The last story has nothing to do with the road itself, but suggests that the name dates from the 1840s when the area was home, and office, to a large number of prostitutes.

This parkland is bounded by the Cross Bronx Expressway, Featherbed Lane, and Inwood Avenue. The expressway, which is just over six miles long, connects to the Washington and Alexander Hamilton Bridges on its western end and the Throgs Neck Bridge on its eastern end. The six lane Cross-Bronx Expressway passes over, under, and around rail, sewer, and utility lines, 113 roads, a subway line, and seven highways, none of which could be disrupted during its construction (1948-63).

Indeed the Cross Bronx Expressway proved such a difficult engineering problem that moving the Bronx River 500 feet to accommodate it was considered a minor project. The great expense of purchasing the many properties for highway construction meant that the engineers were forced to economize on their use of space as much as possible. Not only that but the Fordham gneiss, the bedrock that underlies The Bronx, proved particularly difficult to blast, and thus extra care had to be taken that the remaining properties on either side of the highway’s path were not damaged in the blasting.

The property for Featherbenches was obtained in conjunction with the construction of the Cross Bronx Expressway. The parkland lies between Morris Heights, named for the wealthy landowning Bronx family, and Mount Eden, named for Rachel Eden, who purchased land in the Bronx in 1820. It features a sitting area, benches, light posts, and London planetrees (plantus x acerifolia).

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